Sunday, June 1, 2008

Etiquette Of A Gentleman


By Michael Bucci

One only needs to take a quick glance around to notice that there are very few true gentlemen remaining among us. In times past, a gentleman was much appreciated and being gentlemanly was a noble thing.

Alas, things have changed in today's society; some for the better and some for the worse. One thing that particularly irks me is the lack of good taste and etiquette most guys are guilty of at the turn of this new millennium.

I'm not saying that men should act like robots and be slaves to etiquette, but some basic good manners will go a long way in helping you during your ascent to the top.

What I've done is compile a quick list of tips that will help turn even the most blundering fool into a proper gentleman. Follow these simple tips and I can assure you that people will perceive you as a man of good breeding and taste, hence a man they wish to associate and conduct business with. Not to mention the fact that the ladies are always quite pleased to meet a real gentleman.

general etiquette

Always be polite

Even if you don't like someone, there is no need to lower yourself to their level. Be polite and courteous; show that you're the better man.

Do not curse

Swearing is a big no-no. It shows that you don't have the vocabulary to express your thoughts appropriately. Furthermore, it is always very crude and impolite to be vulgar.

Do not speak loudly

When you speak loudly, it raises the stress level among company. It always implies that you can't reason with people and rely on "brute force" to get your point across. It also draws attention -- negative attention.

Do not lose your temper

When you lose your temper, you are showing everyone that you can't control your emotions. If you can't even control yourself, then how can you possibly control anything else? Keep your cool at all times (it won't be easy but it is worth the effort) and people will take positive note of your levelheadedness.

Do not stare

Ogling someone is the equivalent of psychological aggression. You don't want to intimidate people for no reason.

Do not interrupt

Let people finish what they are saying before adding your comments. Interrupting others is a sign of poor etiquette and a lack of social skills. If you want to come across as egotistical, you can do so by constantly interrupting.

Do not spit

A lot of men do this almost subconsciously. Spitting is very crude and not too pretty to look at. Do not spit in public unless you want to look like you were raised in a sewer.

Respect your elders

In fact, you should respect others as you would like them to respect you. I am specifying elders because it seems that today, young men think they know it all. Well, they don't. Just think of yourself five years ago... you're much smarter and experienced today, aren't you? Of course, yet you thought you knew it all five years ago.

Do not laugh at others' mistakes

This is perhaps one of the cruelest things one can do. When you mess up, the last thing you want is for someone not only to bring it to your attention, but to ridicule you on top of that.

Remove your hat indoors

This rule seems to have gone out the window these days. You should remove your headwear upon entering a building. Furthermore, never keep your hat on while at the dinner table. It reflects very poor etiquette.

Wait for seating before eating

When sitting down for a meal, you should wait until all the guests are properly seated and ready to commence the meal before eating. Everyone should start dining at the same time; this is a subtle but very important rule.

the basics of chivalry

In addition to the aforementioned rules, gentlemen (in training) should follow these additional rules when in the presence of a lady. Chivalry may be on life support, but it is not dead yet. Be one of the few to keep this flame burning for many years to come.

Always open doors

This is perhaps the most basic rule of male etiquette out there. It is also one of the easiest to follow so you have no reason to forget it. Whether she is about to enter your car, restaurant, club, or anyplace with a door, you should always hold it open. If there are many doors, then hold them open one after the other.

Put on her coat

Always help a lady put on her coat or overgarment. This is a simple but powerful action.

Help with her seat

If an unaccompanied lady is sitting next to you, it is important that you help her be seated by pulling her chair out for her and gently pushing it back into place, with the lady seated of course.

Give up your seat

If a lady arrives at the table and there are no available seats, you should stand up and offer yours to her.

Stand at attention

Always stand when a lady enters or exits the room. This rule has been somewhat relaxed, so you can stand upon entrance but remain seated upon exit. Nonetheless, if you can do both, you should.

Give her your arm

When escorting a lady (that you know) to and from social events, you should offer her your arm. This is a little more intimate, but serves well when walking on uneven ground -- especially if she's wearing high heels.

Ask if she needs anything

This is one that most guys already do, but helps complete the gentleman in all of us nevertheless. When at social events, make sure to ask the lady if you can get her something to drink (or eat, depending on the event). Show her that you care about her comfort and needs.

Gentlemen, if I may call you that, these are the rules of etiquette you should observe in everyday life. Elevate yourself above the rabble and display the mannerisms of a true gentleman. The world will appreciate such a rarity and your career will most definitely benefit from your good manners and savoir-faire.

3 comments:

Byron said...

Pretty good list. I'm probably guilty of the hat wearing indoors and the occasionaly spitting in public, but heck, while I wasn't raised in a sewer, I was practically raised in a barn so you gotta overlook me! ;)

Thabang Motsei said...

Good tips Chris!Women love a man who has good manners, always!

Chris F. said...

I used to wear hats all the time and had a really bad spitting habit back in the day. But what can I say? I was a baseball player even if it was little league.

Nowadays, I can go with the flow. I can just as easily put on a tuxedo when the occasion calls for it or a blue jean jacket and boots work just as easily especially in a rural area. Now if only I could get my hands on an Aston Martin DB5 and a certain orange car, I would be burning rubber. The Black Pursuit Special (it is not a V-8 Inceptor, folks!) from the Mad Max films would be awesome too!